Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's Pouring

Because when it rains, it pours.

H's beloved Mermere passed away today at the age of 98.  It wasn't unexpected or anything, but somehow it was still a shock.  Anyway, I packed him up (only forgetting one major thing that I just discovered and he's about to discover) and put him on a plane in less than 2 hours time.  H arrived in MA only 4 hours after I had initially heard the news.  I'm that good...  ha ha.

But really, thank goddess my mother, MJ, is here.  She has been a life saver (B's), thinking up ways to fill the children's days, forcing us all (ALL) to take naps each day, cleaning closets and making giant goodwill deposits.  She's not great at the day to day cleaning (Sorry MJ), but she's great at PURGING stuff.  Living on a boat has honed that skill.

So.  I have a "broken down" foot.  No H. And a mother who hates Laundry more than me.  Somehow this is not how I pictured my week.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Motherhood in the Country of Consumption

Motherhood in this country is making women neurotic.  I think I can make that statement with some objectivity too, because I have been to another country in the past few weeks to witness motherhood on foreign soil.

The more women I meet world wide, the more I'm convinced that We are super sizing our lives to the breaking point.

Women in Bermuda seem happy with their lives, despite the fact that they live in tiny homes, drive compact cars and spend $15 on a $4 watermelon & $4 on a cheap loaf of bread that costs Us $1.10.  So, what do they do different from us?  For starters, they don't buy things they don't need, they don't over pack for a day trip to the park, and they don't buy excess groceries because it's not practical, or even realistic, to waste food.  When I think about how much food I throw away, it kills me.  Either as leftovers or rotten produce, I would estimate I throw awaya minimum of $10 of food a week.  I don't know about you, but I could use that $520 a year to put into my retirement account.  I bet a lot of women could use the extra money, and yet, none of us really seem interested in saving it.

Take Dee of example.  She lives in a gorgeous neighborhood, in a nice but not overly large home, in one of the most prestigious school districts in the state, and all she talks about is more.  More space, more yard, more neighborhood, more deck, more car, more needs and more money.  And less weight.  My wish for Dee would be that she wakes up tomorrow is happy with all that she has, and instead of living in the "want-mode", she would spend a little more time parenting her unruly children.  I blame Pottery Barn Kids, LL Bean, J.Crew, Disney, McGolden Moo and the Va Lottery for her want-mode.

Yes, LL has to share some of the blame for constantly sending catalogs full of wants to her home.  No, she doesn't need anything from LL, we live in the temperate climate of Richmond, not the wilds of Alaska or Maine.  Never the less, she browses, peruses and purchases from these catalogs.  Nor does she need designer clothes from J, or a 7 night cruise to D, but society tells her she needs these things.  She believes and so she spends money she doesn't have acquiring the needed symbols.  Like GirlScout badges on a vest, we collect souvenirs from our pilgrimages to D and LL and even the golden Moo, and proudly display them throughout our stuffed homes, on our feet, and as for the Moo? Well while our kids play with their Cheery Meal Toys from China, we wear the Moo on our bodies as excess.

The same marketing campaigns that are telling our kids that they need fruit by the foot and pop tarts for scholarly success are informing us that our kids need these things for self esteem to fit in with their peers.  I'm sure that most American adults remember pieces of their childhoods where they wanted something because everyone else had it.  Ranging from Fruit Rolls Ups all the way up to the Illusive Cabbage Patch Dolls.  Now we are a society of "can't say no" to our children.  If that isn't enough to make you neurotic, consider this:  Our behavior is producing an entire generation of "want-mode" children who will grow into "must have" adults.  

While I think it's time for all mothers to take a stand against over consuming, I somehow doubt it can happen.  Over consumption feeds on itself, and until I decide to homeschool my kids (doubtful given I'm not that organized), go vegan and eat granola, I'm not even sure I can tame my own super-sized lifestyle.  I guess if i could make a pact and stick to a plan that would ensure that I "Stopped Consuming Unneeded Items", I might save a few dollars, do some good for the environment, lose a pound, or maybe, just maybe, I could feel a little more in control of my life and a little less neurotic.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

10 GOOD things

On the bright side of being in a cast.... oh, excuse me, I haven't been fair here... a taupe open toe cast, trimmed in white cotton with a post modern industrial over boot complete with coordinating black velcro... 

10-Mom's coming in from BDA to take care of B-ridge so we don't go nuts.
 9-I only need to wear 1 sock, so my laundry is lasting 2 times longer.
 8 -My boot matches every purse I own.
 7-H has walked the dogs 3 times in 3 days.
 6-My kids are intermittently helpful and maddening, instead of just being maddeningly unhelpful.
 5- If I want to go out, I only need to find a right shoe.
 4- All the nonsense jobs, like scrap booking and i-photo "clean up" are getting done.
 3-The errands that require driving w/ little else are also getting done.
 2- I can put off back to school shopping for two more weekends.

And the number one thing about being in a cast...
I finally have a good excuse to have a messy house!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Black, it's the new, um... black

For years I worked in retail.  And I remember when Gray was the new Black, when Brown was the new Black and when Houndstooth was the new Black.  You know what I really took out of working retail?  Black is really the new Black.  It's always in, it's always classic, it matches everything, and as long as the world is a dirty place, it will never go out of style.  So, when I said I wanted a new pair of tall black boots this winter, I pictured something really sleek.  Perhaps, suede or shiny leather, with a sharp heel and a rounded toe.  Something with a slim line so when I zipped it up, it clung to the shape of my calf, both slimming and elongating my short legs.  I was imagining wearing them with a particularly cute skirt and sassing a bit in them, or another skirt and wearing them as my b*tch boots.  

Yea, so about that.  This is SO not what I had in mind.  For one, I had hoped I could afford 2 boots, not just "boot", and the next is that this is anti-sexy.  If there is anything less sexy than this boot I haven't found it yet.

So, I saw the Dr today.  I know some of you were waiting on an update, and here it is.  Good News (dripping sarcasm), it's NOT BROKEN.  Yeah.  That's great.  Its still in a bloody cast.  Yea, you heard me.  Under this boot is a cast that cannot be removed for 2 weeks because I have NOT BROKEN my foot.  What I did is apparently nearly as bad as breaking it though in the eyes of my Podiatrist.  I have ripped the ligament under the Tibialis Anterior Tendon and something about connecting the Medial Cuneiform Bone or something like that to another bone and Navicular definitely came up in the conversation at some point...  Honestly, I nearly freaked out when the sentence started with ripped... ligament... tendon...and ended in cast.  All I know for sure is that when Dr. Glazer (who is a Goddess and deserves all my adoring praise, even though I didn't enjoy her news today) was manipulating it, it hurt... a lot.  A LOT.

Do you know I rode BMX for several years, rode (and fell off) horses for the last 23 years straight and have NEVER had an injury that required a cast?  I've still never broken a bone, but this is obscene in my mind.  Can I even tell you what the impact of a human body being thrown from a 1200 pound horse sounds like?  Well, it's a hell of a lot louder than 2 feet running.  Running?  RUNNING?  I damaged my foot running?  

So the bottom line is that right now, at this moment, my foot is encased in a soft cast and must be wrapped in a boot when in motion.  It cannot get wet for 13 days.  My diagnosis called for 21 days, but I talked her down to under 2 weeks.  I am unable to swim, bike, walk or run until it is removed and I get the blessing of the Podiatrist.  At this moment it ITCHES and I can't ITCH IT!!!  It is also in excruciating pain because it has been "set" in the position to which will encourage healing, which also happens to be the position that is most painful.  The drugs I have been graced with have not yet kicked in... as we go to press here I'm hoping for a miracle.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

REST stinks

Am I done yet?  I've rested the foot for 4 days.  FOUR WHOLE DAYS.  I haven't run, walked strenuously or even swam (swum?) for those whole 4 days.  I am afraid I'm going to get fat if I keep this up.  The less I run, the more the ice cream in my fridge calls to me... it calls and calls...  oh wait, that's the phone.

I'm supposed to see the podiatrist this week, assuming that nothing else goes wrong between now and then.  Still, I liked the idea of pretending it was just a minor strain and ignoring it, because if the Dr tells me I'm broken or something, its not like I can just pick up running again on Saturday.

Carp.  I hate waiting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Anti-Planning for a successful future

Never Ever make plans.  Because if you have kids, the plans cannot happen the way you make them.  Take TODAY for example.  I was going to do NOTHING.  No car rides, no nothing.  The kids and I were going to head to the pool and chill out for a few hours and just "be".  So, the story below just goes to prove the point that if you EVER tell your kids you're going to do something fun, something unexpected will interfere, making you (*the mother) a LIAR.  That's what I am today...  And all I had were "anti-plans".  

But OH NO, B woke up this morning with a GIANT swollen EYE!!!  I mean, giant & bruised to the point of nearly black.  I would take a photo, but my camera is in MA.  Maybe if the camera gets here before the swelling is gone I can show you all.  Her face is so swollen that it looks like someone put a 1/2 a walnut under the skin under her right eye.  So, instead of "being", I leapt from my bed to dose her with Benadryl, and then set a timer, and after the timer elapsed and NO CHANGE I had to call the peds office, who was able to get me in to see the Dr at the least convenient time for me, and then as soon as I returned from the ped, I realized that we had failed to note the Vet apt on our calendar, so I dropped C off at "math camp", put B down for a nap and tidied up a bit (could hardy call it cleaning because nothing is clean), wrangled the dogs into the car, woke B, picked up Colleen, went to the vet- keeping in mind that b's eye looks outrageous at this point...  Now its 4pm and my kids are wondering when we get to go to the pool.  Yea, so, about that.  Thank Goddess I threw something in the crock pot this morning so dinner will be ready at a decent hour AND oh, we have plans tonight too... nice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

3488 Miles and counting

Since July 6th I have travelled 3488 miles with 3 kids and 1 husband in tow.  I don't suggest it really.  That means on average, in the past 15 days I've gone a minimum of 232 miles.  1,840 of those miles were travelled in a car.  And I'm not counting all the many miles I travelled by boat around BDA, or the incidental driving around MA or VA on non travel days.  It's been an extremely education journey.  I learned new skills, as well as new stupid facts that I will grace you all with...

1)  The first thing I learned is that I cannot function without a list.  I must use a list to pack or important things get left behind- like a wallet, diaper bag, 2 pairs of sunglasses, cell phone.  Currently I am 543 miles away from my wallet, diaper bag, cell... etc.

2)  The car DVD player will not occupy 3 children at once.  Either 1 or 2 children are not amused and the non driving adult will need to be a "playmate" or "Parent" (parents yell, playmates play- to clarify the difference as noted by my son).

3) On Route 301 there is a law stating that there must be a Golden Moo serving delicious "healthy" deep fried nonsense every 10 minutes.  By my rough calculations that means there is one every 8 miles.  Ok, maybe not a law.

4) In MA though, there is a law saying that there cannot be more than 100 meters between Dunkin Donuts serving delicious "healthy" deep fried nonsense and coffee.  I'm sure of that...  

5)  I did NOT know how many boats there are on interstate 95 until I had someone pointing them out.  "ISHEABOAT!!!  BOAT!!!  BOAT!!!", B yelled at the top of her lungs, much to the dismay of the people in our car.  (translated that means "I see a boat").  I also never noticed how many busses, "BUS!!!", trains, "CHOOCHOO!!!", or fish... yes, "FISH" are on I95.  I can no longer hear on my right side... or my left side...  because I am deaf from screaming joy over fish, boats and busses.

6)  The Golden Moo in Aberdeen MD has a really nice play area.  We didn't purchase food there, but H dropped us off there to play while he fueled the car.  It was one of our better ideas.

7)  There are more cops in MD than there are on the rest of the Eastern Seaboard.

8) The construction on 495 will never be finished.

9) Driving in a car for 11 1/2 hours is exhausting, even if you are not the driver for 6 hours.  Why is that?

and the number one thing I learned on my travels...

10) IF you brag about how great one trip length is, the return journey will be nightmarish.  On our return trip we left 40 minutes late, realized 2 hours into our drive that both of us "thought the other one" was getting the diaper bag, we hit traffic in CT (also a law), B had a melt down at the top of the Garden State Pkway, And another meltdown at the top of the Jersey Tpke, And another meltdown at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and if you don't hit traffic in NOVA you obviously have pact with the devil.  We, sadly, do not have a pact with the devil so we did hit traffic in NOVA and cruised along at about 15 mph for about 15 miles.  We did still make it in under 12 hours, even with the 3 stops.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do you have your exit buddy?

Kudo's to "The Mom" who ran the marathon when her sextuplets were only 1 year old...  I think that's amazing.  I was reading the interview today about her and something she said really spoke to me.  She talked a lot in her interview about things that would speak to a mother of three.  Never ending laundry, sticking to a routine and the help of a supportive family are some of the high points, but still no, what I think that she said that was most important to me was this,

"I'd literally throw my running shoes on and my friend and I would run for like, 2 hours."  

Her friend ran with her every night.  I think there is SO much to be said about the support of a running buddy.  Today I tried to run without my designated "exit buddy".  I did have my ipod though with Tiger Woods in my ear, but it still sucked.  For one thing, the foot pain is definitely worse when I don't have someone to distract me on my run.  And the next thing is that 56 minutes is a friggin long time to run w/o a conversation partner.  Over the last weeks I've heard the sweetest stories from my running buddies, stemming from "How I met my husband" to "Mosquito bites on infants" to "Antibiotics on honeymoons".   I missed my running buddies today, as I headed out for 6, and only finished 5.5 miles.  It was definitely a disappointment to miss my goal, and I really believe that if I'd had my running mates (its an election year after all), it wouldn't have happened.

I'm tired of traveling.  I'm looking forward to FINALLY getting home and picking up again where I left off.  For the rest of the summer I have no plans, no travels, no nothing.  I can run the long run every weekend, and at night when my kids are in bed, I can throw on my shoes and run with my friends if I want, for like, 2 hours!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random thoughts

How to heal an inflamed strained tendon in 7 easy steps:

Step 1)  Strain your tendon running.
Step 2) REST the foot.  Rest the foot while running errands, watching kids, cooking, cleaning, and packing.  Then go to BDA and swim, snorkel, and walk walk and walk some more.
Step 3) Rest the foot.   This time for a whopping 2 days.
Step 4) Run with your mates on a Sunday morning.  When all your running mates head out for their last 6, go ahead and turn around.  About 1/2 mile from the end of your run, ignore the fact that your foot suddenly explodes in pain.  Just keep running.  You don't need to stop.  The stars floating in your vision are perfectly normal.
Step 5) Medicate yourself with copious amounts of champagne and Motrin.  
Step 6) Actually rest your foot for 1 whole day.  Sit in a car with your foot propped on the dash under an ice pack while medicated with more Motrin.
Step 7) Run 3 miles with a screaming child attempting to climb out of the stroller.  It's advisable to sprint the last mile, because she has nearly released the buckle....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Broccoli and French Fries & a 11 hour 12 hour drive...

On Monday we embarked on a 12 hour drive from Virginia to Massachusetts.  We have 3 kids, so we know that a 10 hour BC (before children) drive is really 12 hours.  We also know that any drive past 9 hours consists of at least 3 potty breaks, 1 gas stop, a minimum of 1 temper tantrum, an untimely nap and a traffic jam in Connecticut.  More on Connecticut later...

We left Richmond at 6:20, only 20 minutes behind schedule and immediately all the small people in our car fell asleep.  There is a goddess and she likes me- proof, right there, in the nap.  After a quick stop at the golden Moo, where we grabbed a potty break and a meal to go.  Because the gods are smiling on us again at this point in our drive, B fell asleep around 11am, so we popped a movie in for our big kids and let her sleep.  She slept through our 1st planned fuel stop... so we didn't stop.  She slept through our back up fuel stop... so we didn't stop.  The NJ Turnpike came and went, and still, sleeping B and no traffic crisis & no melt down.  By this point, we're starting to feel cocky.  At the top (TOP!!!) of the Garden State Parkway, B woke up in a cheerful and happy mood so we stopped.  It's at this point that I decided that I needed a healthy alternative to lunch of BK or Nathan Dogs.  Well, that left Sabbaros Pizza... so I got the veggie loaded meat free pizza.  It happens that I like broccoli, sweet onions, tomato and spinach on my pizza, and I have trained my children well.  C ate the onions and spinach- off my pizza, and forwent her Nathan dog.  G picked the tomato off my pizza and forwent his Nathan Mini Dog Bits.  B picked all the broccoli off my pizza and ate C & G's french fries.  My kids chose my veggies over their carp.  I could cry.  ~sniff~  I could really because at the end of lunch I was starving.  I wasn't going to eat Fries and Hotdogs.  Uhg.  Could you think of anything less appealing to eat while you're driving?  So, after we finished our lunch, which was a LONGGGGGGGGGG stop, over an hour, we hopped back on the road to the Tapenzee Bridge.  

The weather was clear, and you could see The City skyline on the eastern horizon.  It was really cool.  NY passed, and we entered CT.  And then, I fell asleep.  Wait, Sean was driving, it's not THAT exciting of a story.  Except that I was having a really nice dream about Viggo Mortensen.  And suddenly, I was wide awake as we came to a screeching halt.  Of course, CT.  There's always a traffic jam in CT.  There doesn't even have to be a reason- no accident, no break down, no nothing.  Just 30 minutes of 3 mph traffic, and then, back to speed.  But now, B has been woken up and is screaming at us that she's "all done" with her car seat, and even Baby Mozart isn't working, and to top it all off I couldn't go back to sleep and find out exactly what Viggo had in mind, but I have a feeling it was going to be good.  Dennis Leary nailed it when he said, "Connecticut is the 5th ring of Hell".   But we muscled through and made it without another stop.

We made our 12 hour drive in 11 hours 6 minutes, 2 potty breaks, 1 fuel stop, a veggie filled lunch, 1 temper tantrum, 1 (delicious) nap, and a traffic mess in Connecticut.  Life isn't all bad.  Of course, now we're in MA with H's parents... so, we'll have to see how it all plays out!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pictures of Bermuda

Here are a few snaps from Bermuda.  Unfortunately, in order to get really great underwater photography one needs about 50K worth of equipment, not $5 worth, so they're not terribly clear.  These are just some of the ones that I thought best summed up the trip.  C is shown at Tobacco Bay.

The shipwreck pictured is The Montana, which sank in 1863. 


The fam shot is from Flatts.

And pictured last... well, let's just say that the view from the hotel did not suck.


Bermuda did not suck.  From the crystal clear water to the pink sand, the whole island is one scenic view after another.  Even the busses are pink!  Everyone drives on the "wrong side" of the road, which makes you feel that you've traveled 1/2 way around the world, instead of 1 hour 50 minutes flight time.  B enjoyed riding around sans car seat, and was able to learn a new word, bus.  If you're B and want to identify a bus, it's best done at the top of your lungs, "BUS!"  The water temperature was 82, and the air temp was 85, which did not suck.  Mom watched the kids 23 hours a day, and H & I spent hours together alone on a tropical island snorkeling, exploring caves, laying on a beach, swimming in a pool surrounded by palm trees.  

We arrived at Grotto Bay Beach Resort on Sunday night and after settling in, we headed over to my mother's place to check out the new boat.  This is sort of funny, because all this time she's talked about this boat and I don't know what I was expecting but it was not...  "So, what do you think of my boat?", "Which one is it?  The one next to the big one?",  "No dear- it is the big one.".  Holy carp.  It's quite a boat.  I think Yacht is a more correct term for a boat of that size, but let's not get technical.  We dropped our big kids off w/ mom and headed back to the hotel with B-ridge.  So, the room was large enough to put her crib on one end, pull the doors out on the entertainment center and ta-da, a room to ourselves.  After we put her to bed, we sat out on the veranda and listened to the tree frogs.  They are so loud they'll deafen you, but no tropical island is complete without tree frogs.  We took turns making trips to the bar for Swizzles and it did not suck.  After B was asleep, we slunk into the room, and...  I won't bore you with every detail.  Let me remind you that this is a G rated blog.  But, I will share some of the highlights of the trip...

On Monday we went out on the Fantasea owned Bottom Peeper.  It's a glass bottom boat that will take you 4 miles out over the reefs so you can snorkel over TWO ship wrecks.  They supplied us with fins, masks, snorkels (?) and told us where to find the best views of reefs, fish and ship wrecks.  After a stern lecture on NEVER TOUCH THE CORAL REEFS we were set loose.  Frankly, who would WANT to touch a coral reef?  The coral can cut, burn or sting you.  The colors were amazing.  Unfortunately, the photos I took with my "underwater Kodak $8 disposable camera" don't do it justice.  The ship wrecks we explored were The Montana, a confederate blockade runner (sank 1863) & The Constellation (sank 1943).  The best thing about the glass bottom tour was that if you didn't want to snorkel, you could still see all the fish, reefs, etc, w/o even getting wet.  B loved it, and learned a new word- Fish.  If you're B, and you want to identify a fish, it's best done at the top of your lungs.  "FISH!!!"

Snorkeling on the open ocean is really quite different from beach snorkeling. When you're snorkeling off a beach, you can often spot a sandy area and stand up if you need a break.  Over the Montana and Constellation, it was 15+ feet of water.  I have never been more grateful to be in such great shape as I was on that trip.For one thing, I wore my BIKINI.  Yea, I know, that's insanity since there were ~shhh~ other people around, but seriously, I saw plenty of women wearing bikinis with more squish than me...  Back to the subject at hand.  As we're all paddling around I noticed that many of the swimmers kept having to return to the boat to rest.  I, however, was having a great time and never got winded.  I snorkeled for a full 30 minutes before returning to the boat, where I picked up Gregory and carried him on my back (in 15 feet of ocean current) for another 10 minutes.  He wanted to see the grouper.  The grouper in question was easily 60 pounds.  The photo of the grouper didn't really come out at all.  :(  I guess what I'm saying is, while it was great to look semi-decent in the alleged bathing suit, the great reward of Stroller Strides was actually being able to enjoy the water sport of the day.

Tuesday & Wednesday we explored the island from Moms boat.  The kids took turns driving the boat.  B learned a new word, "boat", and if you're B and you're going to share your new word, it's best done at the top of your lungs, "BOAT!!!"  We swam, played, & sunbathed for a bit.

On Thursday we went to the aquarium *FISH!, and Tobacco Bay.  IF you're going to go to BDA, and you're not going to see Horseshoe Bay while you're there, you must (MUST) go to Tobacco bay.  It is amazing.  The rock formations are breathtaking, and the coral reefs are awesome, the water is shallow and best yet, the fish have no fear.  A fish swam right up and tapped my mask with his "nose".  Hmmm.  Just take my word for it- It was cooler than it sounds.  I swam G & C around on me for a while while we took in the reefs.  My kids are strong swimmers, but the logistics of mask, breathing apparatus, fins, etc plus swimming kind of screws them up- so we used the "carry on the back" technique with great success.  I would like to imagine they'll remember that forever.  Or, at least until next next Thursday.

And, as if the whole trip didn't "not suck" enough, I actually lost a pound while on vacation!

*If you're going to BDA, I highly recommend Fantasea owned glass bottom boats.  

Saturday, July 5, 2008

An Ode to my Swollen Foot

I feel like a Dr Suess Poem today...  You know the one- my hat is old, my teeth are gold, my nasty hair smells like mold, and now my story is all told... OK OK, I know, it's not quite like that, but I don't remember the whole gig.  Today after my run today I wrapped an ice pack around the top of my foot (which is quite unhappy at the moment) and went about my business packing and running errands before we head out on our trip.  Well, with the ice pack wrapped on, I could hardly walk b/c even my soft ice pack is sort of firm and that makes it hard to bend the foot- I ended up walking with a huge limp and explaining myself ALL DAY.  "What HAPPENED to YOU?"  "I ran today, my foot is sore, I'd tell you but I'd be a bore.  Suffice it to say its a swollen mess, how it happened I can only guess.  Thanks however for the concern, no, it's not likely that I'll learn, I'm going to rest it for a few days, I'll swim in the warm Bermuda bays, then I'll run some miles more, and next week the top of my foot'll be sore..."  

I ran 10 today, and I can say
my bum is sore in a bad bad way,
my bum is sore but that's not all
my foot has swelled to a small baseball,
my swollen foot is kinda pink
and puffed and odd and yes I think
that my swollen foot is a tendon strain,
and it's in a wicked lot of pain.
So now we know my foot is sore,
I could go on, but that would be a bore.
The run was good, the run was far, 
we ran from car to park to car,
I could say something here about an a * *.
When I got home it was go go go,
felt like I was moving slow slow slow
Packin', cleanin', packin' more,
we're ready to head on out the door.
My throat hurts too, which sucks a bit,
But I'm hoping to forget about it,
when the pink sand comes into view,
The H & I know what to do,
and that's sit back, relax, take in the sun,
We're off to Bermuda to have some fun.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

No Thongs Allowed

As you may or may not know, I grew up in Virginia Beach.  At various times in my beach life I lived a stones throw from the ocean front, or as far away as you can possibly get & still be in the city of Va Beach.  Living so close to the ocean, you would think we would have gone all the time.  Once a week at least in the summer, right?  No.  We went once or twice a year, tops.  So, I remember each time pretty clearly.  Once when we had gone all the way out to sandbridge, which is a beach that is a little more remote and definitely off the pavement "strip", I had one of those life changing moments.  No, I didn't join a religion or meet prince charming, I was a young 8 and I learned to question everything, even if the sign says not to....

The sign that I read was, "No Thongs Allowed".  Well, that didn't make any sense at all.  No thongs?  Even at the age of 8 I could see the benefit of having Thongs on the beach.  That is insane.  Why would they ban Thongs?  They're cheap.  Everyone likes thongs.  Now, I didn't push the Thong question with my parents, because when I started to ask about it, my mother was definitely in favor of the No Thong Rule.  I could see that my question made her a little angry.  I figured She was probably angry at my father's new wife, who "probably even wore Thongs around" me.  I thought I heard her say something like that, but again, I could see that we were going to get kicked off the beach.  As we walked toward the life guard stand I started to really worry.  My mother & her husband seemed unconcerned, but I could see that we were in serious violation.  Everyone in our family had them on... our feet.

I don't know why I thought of that today, maybe it was a 4th of July memory, or maybe it's because I caught a glimpse of something I wish i hadn't seen in the mirror this morning!  

Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Camp woes...

This week, on Sunday, we dropped C off at overnight girlscout camp by herself for 4 days.  It was the first time we left her with someone overnight who wasn't family.  I admit, I had reservations about leaving her anywhere without a parent to begin with, and then, we arrived at the camp where we made a few discoveries.

First off, remember that sweet little camp from The Original Parent Trap with Haley Mills?  With the sweet cabins in the woods and all the girls running around in cute little uniforms?  And the firm yet confused camp director who ran the camp with an iron fist?  Well, set that image aside, because the camp we're at, while probably built in that era, is nothing like it.  It could have been.  Oh yes, it could have been a great camp, but the director is a bit, well, for lack of a better word, I'm going with LAZY.  I believe I could run a camp better than she, and I have no experience in the area.  I know I could have set the parents minds at rest and sent them on their way feeling confident about leaving their most precious belonging behind.  

The first thing we learned that set my teeth on edge was that the "counselors" would not be sleeping the the cabin with the campers.  They would sleep in one "central" cabin while the girls slept in the outlying cabins.  Yea, it's in "" because by central, they meant, the first cabin in a row of 13, and by counselors they meant a bunch of girls who hardly even acknowledged my kid when she arrived.  Fortunately, my kid is the one who doesn't notice that sort of thing.  The next thing that irked me about the camp was that the girls were sleeping in cabins with windows slung wide open to allow air flow.  This sounds like a good idea, but two of the windows in C's cabin didn't have screens!  So, those pesky biting flies could come in and feast on the tender flesh of fourteen eight year olds.  And the last thing I noticed was that there were 14 bunks squeezed into an area designed for 12.  I think what this means is that they smushed the campers a bit so the counselors could stay in one cabin, OR the scary version is that they really had too many campers for the number of staff on hand.  Oh, and guess which cabin C's in?  The one farthest away from the counselors.  Sure, why not put the youngest group the farthest away?  Makes perfect sense.  

As we're unpacking Colleen and making her bed, she's off making new friends, singing camp songs in a field with the other 20 or so girls who've arrived.  At this point, I'm having serious reservations, and it's only by some unseen will that I was able to stop myself from throwing her over my shoulder and carrying her off the property.  H wasn't any more excited than I was at the prospect of leaving, so I went to her and said in a quiet voice, "C, you don't have to stay here, you can come home right now & we'll pay for you to go to a different camp.  A nicer camp with AC."  To which she replied in a hiss, "MOM!  Just go already.  GO!"  So, we did.

So today it's the end of camp, and we're off to pick her up.  I've hardly slept in 3 nights, and can't stand the idea of all the things that could have happened.  My most frequent neurosis is that we'll arrive and she won't be there, and no one will have missed her for the past 23 hours, and she'll have been lost in the woods...  breathe g, just breathe.